Yesterday, the Russian Duma passed a bill that will ban “gay propaganda” and the “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” to under-18s. The law will mean that anyone speaking openly about gays and lesbians among young people will be liable to a fine.
The bill was passed by 436 votes to zero. There was one abstention.
The bill will now become law if it is approved by Russia’s upper house of parliament and then signed by President Vladimir Putin, who has already expressed his support for it. The bill is the most criticised element of a series of measures that activists say makes a difficult situation for gay people in Russia even worse. Individuals who violate the law can be fined up to £100, while the penalty for organisations can be up to £20,000. Foreigners found to be promoting gay equality in violation of the law will be arrested and immediately deported.
More than 20 of the protesters who gathered outside parliament were attacked by extremist Orthodox Christians and pelted with eggs, stinging nettles and urine as they attempted to stage a “kissing protest”.
(pic: Reuters/Max Shemetov via RT)
(Hat tip: Mark Hennessey)